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Terms every doctor should know about physician burnout

Unfortunately, doctors know all too well about physician burnout and its impact on medicine. With most American physicians experiencing some sign of burnout, it is a condition that affects all specialties and all practice settings. 

While you’ve most certainly heard of physician burnout, what other terms are important to know? Here is a convenient glossary to help guide you through different aspects of physician burnout and how the AMA is fighting to improve the well-being of doctors in a broken system.

At the height of the pandemic, the physician burnout rate rose to 63% among doctors in the U.S., according to the latest research co-written by experts at the AMA. And while burnout rates are dropping again, more work still needs to be done.

Physician burnout

A long‑term stress reaction characterized by depersonalization. This can include:

  • Cynical or negative attitudes toward patients.

  • Emotional exhaustion.

  • A feeling of decreased personal achievement.

  • Lack of empathy for patients.

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